For nearly a decade now, Stillpoints have been one of the most vital tools in our drive for the best sound. Basically unchanged since their introduction, Stillpoints Ultras are the 'King of the Hill' in terms of equipment isolation. The recent Ultra 6 flagship, and the 2019 arrival of the highly cost-effective Ultra 2 add further options for optimising the performance of electronics.
Stillpoints heighten transparency, speed of transients, air, space, and dynamics, to name only a few attributes, to aid in the most natural presentation. Stillpoints provide isolation and control of destructive vibrational energy by means of a four-tier filter, substantially improving the sonic and musical qualities of your audio system.
"...in the context of a high-end system they provide a huge sonic return on the investment." Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound, December 2011
"Stillpoints Ultras are better than good. They have perfected the mysterious art of adding to musical pleasure and sonic enchantment by subtracting unwanted, deleterious nonmusical intrusions." Jim Merod, Positive Feedback, March 2012
Spring 2012 brought a comprehensively strengthened range of products by Paul Wakeen and his Stillpoints team. The release of the Ultra SS (Stainless Steel) met overwhelming praise and approval from audiophiles and press alike, prompting a reassessment of the Stillpoints pecking order.
Although the original 'volcano-shaped' Stillpoint was already a memory, the surprise was by how far the Ultra SS outperformed the Ultra Aluminium (identical apart from body material) and the more expensive Component Stand. Aware that Stillpoints has built its reputation on being the best solution for equipment support and isolation, Paul removed these unnecessary items from the range, and developed the Ultra Mini and the Ultra 5 - both using entirely Stainless Steel bodies, but with differing amounts of Stillpoints technology to meet different applications and budgets.
Ultra SS and Ultra 5 can be used underneath equipment (on a shelf or the floor) or underneath any loudspeakers, where they are ideally used with threaded adaptors as spike replacements. The Ultra 5 has 5 times the Stillpoints technology in a single package. Ultra Mini is primarily designed for use under equipment on a shelf, but can be used under small loudspeakers. Ultra 2 and Ultra 6 are specifically designed for placing under electronics, whether digital or analogue.
The ultimate expression of the Stillpoints art is the ESS rack. Contained within this aesthetic beauty is engineering which sonically improves any system used with it, aided by six pockets of Stillpoints technology built into the support bars of each shelf.
The secret to Stillpoints design is in many fine details, but a key distinction is the way the four-tier filter prevents a direct energy path through the device. This isolation is in contrast with other support devices (such as spikes, cones and balls ), and the success of this approach is instantly audible.
Press awards for Stillpoints are many, including regular 'Product of the Year', 'Editor's Choice' and 'Golden Ear' awards from The Absolute Sound.
Ultra isolators - from the Ultra Mini to the Ultra 6 - will all bring benefits to the majority of systems, and can be used in various ways and combinations.
It is no surprise that generally, the larger Stillpoints perform better than smaller, but we aim to get value as well as performance by careful choice and good practice. A good example is regarding the Ultra 5; unsurpassed for mounting under speakers, but the new Ultra 2 will in most cases be the better choice under an amplifier or DAC (and about 40% cheaper!).
Please talk to us - or one of our dealers - about your system and we will be happy to pass on our experience.
Vinyl sources benefit greatly from care taken in isolation. Stillpoints Ultras underneath the deck are an obvious starting point, but we can also deal with vibration at the disc itself. The LP Isolator ( LPI ) slips over the spindle of your turntable and rests on the label portion of your lp. It absorbs the micro vibration that is present at the label area and makes the LP reproduction clearer, cleaner, more delicate, more open and life like.
In the same way that the LPI can be used to control the delicate vibrations present in the audio chain, from the vinyl to the styli, the LPI can also be applied to the case work of other products in the audio chain. Doing this can further enhance the transparency and delicacy of the overall sound of the hifi system.
"The LPI delivers more space between instruments (and notes), more texture and greater insight into the ensemble playing... The benefits of the Stillpoints Ultra LPI are not just about the loud bits. Its ability to increase resolution, poise and timing integrity is just as vital to small-scale acoustic pieces, a scenario in which its vitality, black backgrounds and dynamic discrimination really bring recordings to life, adding a real sense of delicacy and an inviting, open quality. In fact, I’ve found no music that fails to benefit from the LPI and it has become an essential piece of the turntable setup."
Roy Gregory, The Audio Beat July2012
Incorporating 5 separate technologies in each panel (22” x 22” x 3”), Aperture panels provide the most effective room treatment we have ever heard. Akin to focusing the lens of a camera, sound images ‘appear’ more present, more dimensional, and life-sized. Fine detail, emotional transfer, dynamic swings are heightened while providing a deeper intelligible sound stage that transports the listener to the recording’s venue, essentially taking the room’s sound out of the equation.
In addition to the exquisite listening experience, Stillpoints Aperture acoustic panels can be tailored to your personal tastes with dye sublimation printing. Permanent, rich, vivid color transfers can be pressed onto the outer screen fabric thus personalizing each panel with an image that is sure to please the most discerning aesthetic.
A range of images is available to choose from - New York scenes from Wes Bender Photography among others.
Few products are as long lasting or as perennially successful as Stillpoints. We believe a Stillpoints product bought today will be just as effective decades in the future, and still likely unsurpassed in terms of overall performance.
“Once RH replaced the Stella Utopia loudspeakers’ stock spikes with the Stillpoints Ultra SS isolation devices, he was hooked. Adding the Ultra SS to his system took the sound quality up a big notch, increasing low-level resolution and helping the loudspeakers to more fully disappear into the soundstage. But it was Stillpoints ESS racks that made him realize what he’d been missing all these years. The Stillpoints racks allowed his system to resolve fine detail down to much lower levels and made the presentation that much more like the real thing. The Ultra 5 takes the performance up several more levels.”